Believe it or not something commonly said during breast cancer discussion is “hey at least you get a boob job out of it.” Or even “at least you get a free boob job out of it.” There are boob jobs and there is boob reconstruction. They are not even a little bit the same. Yes I have implants but that’s where the similarity ends. A boob job or BA (breast augmentation) basically takes what God gave you and enhances it and it’s a cosmetic choice. You still have your original boobs and your nipples. Breast reconstruction after a mastectomy starts over from square one, from the ground up, often characterized as a salvage job. If you’ve had a breast augmentation, please know that nothing about your experience even comes close to mine. I have nothing against boob jobs at all and I’m fine talking about your boob job, as long you understand I can’t relate because I didn’t have a boob job.
Some mastectomies are skin sparing or nipple sparing. That was not an option for me. Once the nips are gone, so is any sensation. You know how good your nipples can feel ladies? That zing that can go from your nips to well…..other places? Yeah well, GONE. But hey if nipples are part of the price to stay alive, take them, but I’m pretty sure you get to keep your nipples with a boob job. And it’s not “free” if you have to pay insurance copays and deductibles. Most ladies that get boob jobs go home and after a short healing period, will admire their new boobs, buy new clothes, and celebrate. Cancer survivors go home after reconstruction and see more scars and wonder if or when their cancer may return.
As fabulous as they are, because The Boob Whisperer is so awesome, my new breasts are sore, numb, nip-less and scarred. And though they feel pretty good they’re still not like real boobs. I would trade them for my old (albeit without the tumor) God given breasts in a heartbeat. Am I glad I have boobs again? Very. Do I view it as “getting a boob job out of it?” No, that’s just dumb. I’ve previously mentioned how I frequently see articles about what not to say to cancer patients and survivors and how I don’t agree with many of them but comparing a boob job to reconstructed breasts is something I can safely say JUST. DON’T.
I’ve been doing pretty well with my anxiety and living with my fear of recurrence. I was starting to think maybe I was getting a handle on it. Then a couple weeks ago I started getting some mild lower back pain. I had two epidural injections for a pinched sciatic nerve in 2015 and I’ve read that sometimes stiffness and pain can return to the spine, especially in a not super active 50 year old. I also know that when breast cancer recurs it usually shows up as metastasis in other places like your bones. My four month oncologist appointment is in a few weeks so he’ll do blood work and if my back is still sore I will tell him. This shit is really keeping me on my toes you guys.